Tuesday, May 26, 2015

UNESCO SITE: WATER TEMPLE OF ULUN DANU BERATAN, BALI, INDONESIA


There is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bali. 

While I was in Bali, I knew for a fact that Borobudur and Prambanan Temples are part of Indonesia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But these structures are not situated in Bali, Indonesia.  The Balinese arts and culture is rich manifested in the unique architectural, structural designs and presentations but devoid of inscription by the coveted UNESCO cultural heritage.

A few days after the visit, my readings have revealed that the water temples in Bali are protected and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Part of the UNESCO cultural landscape of Bali under the so-called subak system as a manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy is the Pura Ulun Danu Beratan.


I stood in one corner hiding from the scorching heat of the midday sun impressed by the architectural edifice fed to my senses.  During that time, I had no idea of how different this water temple is from the other temples.

What then is subak? It is a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs that dates back to the 9th century.  It further reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, bringing together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature.  The said philosophy was born out of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2,000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali. 




Taking an hour and a half of travel time from Denpasar, Bali, as soon as we arrived at the Information Center and entrance booth, we were informed that there is an admission fee (IDR 30,000.00 per person) yet this time we are not mandated to wear sarong.  Distinction of fees apply for a local resident and foreign visitor.

It was a vast compound from where the significant water temple is situated.  The view of the Lake Bratan from afar was stunning complemented by the scenic mountain landscape as we approach the temple complex.

A well-landscaped garden and playground surrounds the concrete pathway leading to the touristy 11-roof pagoda on a placid lake.  Across the mainland temple complex, the said pagoda is the most photographed of all the temples, being set on an island that gives the illusion of a floating temple.






Traditional Balinese gates and a number of Balinese pagodas were housed in a huge complex within the vast property which is off-limits to visitors.  The said temples were decorated for a festival. 






Pine trees likewise surround and a few benches positioned that would be perfect for picnics and the mere loitering in the area.  On our way out, we saw a deer housed on another complex. 










While the water temple is a religious site, being devoted Dewi Danu, goddess of the lake, it becomes a necessary eco-tourism site as well for visitors of Bali, Indonesia such as ourselves.

Situated in the city of Bedugul, Bali, the Pura Taman Ayun represents what the city is known for – mountain lakes, botanical gardens and water temples.

Unplanned and unexpected, this is another tick off my bucket list of visiting the varied UNESCO World Heritage sites.




Note:

It would be advisable for long distance travels within a day to charter a private car for safety and convenience.

Jalan Cekomaria Gang Taman IV No. 1 Denpasar, Bali
Phone: (0361)7966391
Mobile Phone: (+62) 81 558 449 505/ (+62) 81 936 175 556
Emails: 
info@baligoldentour.com



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